Man, I feel like a… well like a man actually.

If you haven’t read the first post I did about this then you can read that here: https://waggcomedy.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/man-i-feel-like-a-woman-every-day-of-my-life/

Alternatively, you can just not read that and I can save you some time by telling you that I’m trans and, at the time I wrote that post, I was in so much denial.

Last summer I dislocated my knee and spent a lot of time alone in the house. My friends came to visit me and offered me loads of support via messages but something wasn’t right. I realised that I had depression and that I had had it for a long time. (You can read more about that here: https://waggcomedy.wordpress.com/?s=Depression+nearly+&submit=Search

I have always thought about being trans. I mean I repressed it a lot but it had always played on my mind; in the middle of the night when I was wide awake. My therapist helped me to talk about what I described as “the biggest can of worms ever”. 

It is the biggest can of worms ever. It has shocked me and it is the most difficult thing to come to terms with.

People often talk about friends and family having to go through a grieving process but I’m grieving too. I plan to do a post on that at some point, but I’ll just say now that this isn’t an easy thing for me to get my head around.

I question it. Of course I do. But I’m a man. I’m a man who likes Tegan and Sara and that’s ok. I mean I was an honorary lesbian for 24 years. I am a straight man who likes a “lesbian” band. That feels weird. I guess I’m going to have to explain why to people but I doubt explaining my music tastes will be the hardest thing to do. 

I hope you all likes blogs about being trans because this blog is about to be full of transness! 

Say thank you more.

I hear a lot of people telling their tiny humans to “say thank you to the bus driver!” and they normally do. Whether it’s a quick thanks, a shy thanks or a bold, almost shouting thanks I always appreciate it.

We could all say thank you more.

Here are my current thank yous:

  1. Thank you to everyone who has stood by me recently. Notable thanks to close friends (that drunkenly ring me to tell me they love me), my mum, a couple of colleagues and my therapist.
  2. Thank you to every single person who works in any emergency service. Paramedics. PCSOs. Fire fighters. Coast guards. Mountain rescuers. Police officers. Don’t listen to what “The Sun” says. Have your cup of coffee in a public place; you deserve it. Every single day you leave your house not knowing what the day will bring or whether you’ll even return home. 
  3. Thank you to doctors and nurses and physiotherapists and porters and cleaners and receptionists in hospitals all over the world. The world simply would not exist without you.
  4. Thank you to my goddaughter who reminds me that happiness can be found at the top deck of a bus or at the bottom of a tub of poster paint.
  5. Thank you to the musicians who have managed to say all the things I can’t say and better.
  6. Thank you to my favourite poet who has changed my life beyond comprehension.

Say thank you more.

London.

Last week, I saw a video of people running away from the area where the terrorist act took place.

One of those people running was a woman wearing a hijab.

She was running for her life.

She was running for her life yet some people will say that last week’s terror attack was an act carried out in her religion’s name.

No.

I am fed up of hearing such things.

Every day millions of Muslims go to work and school and live their normal lives. They forget to get petrol on the way home and they help their kids with their homework and they fall asleep midway through a programme and have to watch it all over again. They tread on an upturned plug, have to untangle their headphones and they get crumbs in the butter. They miss work deadlines, get caught out in the rain not wearing a coat and they take their unwell pets to the vets.

They lead normal fucking lives.

Muslims are not terrorists. Muslims are people who believe in Islam.

Terrorists are morons who do not represent a religion.

No more intolerance. No more easy scapegoats. No more fear.

More love, support and unity.

Places I’m drawn to. 

My nan moved to a flat and out of the “family bungalow” about 6 years ago yet, for some reason, when I thought about visiting my nan today I was thinking of going to said bungalow. 

Why?

I have loads of extremely happy memories from the bungalow; including hundreds of my grandad who died before my nan moved out. However, I also have unpleasant memories from it and I’m realistic to know that the building is just bricks.

Having said that, when I found out she was selling the bungalow I was fuming. I had spent a lot of my childhood there and it felt like a second home to me. I would go there after school when my mum was working late and I’d had learnt to ride a bike in the back garden.

But without my grandad it wasn’t the same.

Her new flat, whilst spacious and light, is missing a presence for me.

Similarly, I’m drawn to Derby where my paternal grandmother lives and where my dad spent a lot of time.

I was talking to a friend recently and I expressed a yearning to go to Derby, even though I don’t feel like going there fulfils me. 

“You’re looking for your dad.”, she said “But he’s not there.”

It’s true. He’s not there. Pictures of him are scattered everywhere and half of the person who created him is there but he isn’t.

I stopped myself from making a last minute hotel booking in Derby recently and the yearning to go has gone.

I feel like Derby is where I run away to when my actual life (the monotony of work and the stress of relationships) gets too much. 

So how do I find peace with all of this loss and no substance to fill the space? 

You deserve this so here it is.

Ok it’s time I properly explain what’s been happening in my life. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last blogged.

Where do I start?

My car has cost me a sickening amount of money recently. Insurance, MOT and at least 3 new tyres (all due to pot holes – grrrr!) have taken quite a chunk out of my bank balance which would be fine if I was working but…

I’m not. I’ve recently left my job.

“What? Why? When? Are you mad?!”

Mmmhhmmm. For a multitude of reasons. Last month. Yes, I definitely am.

They say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and now that it’s gone I definitely miss it. The financial security, the free food and, of course, the people. Even though I still talk to them it isn’t the same. When you spend nearly every day with the same people for almost 3 years it’s bound to be weird without them but weird doesn’t even come close to explaining how I feel.

And, as to what I’m going to do for money now… I’ll let you know when I know.

“Any women on the scene?”

Nope. Next question please.

“How’s the weight loss going? You must be really skinny by now?”

You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But no, I’m still just as cuddly as ever. And let’s face it, we all know what cuddly really means…

I’m hoping for a good summer though: I’ve got lots of things coming up and even more stuff that I want to do. But before I can do any of that I have a room to paint.

Yup, in the midst of all this uncertainty and change I’ve decided that now is the time to re-decorate my room. I must be mad.

Oh well at least these next few months will be busy.

Have you missed me?

The answer to that question is probably no and I don’t blame you. I expect some of you spent November desperately trying to finish (or start) NaNoWriMo and that those who didn’t were beginning their Christmas shopping and counting down the days until they finished work.

I would love to say I’ve been doing the same things but in reality I haven’t. NaNoWriMo came and went far too quickly and I only managed to write 11,000 words. Although, I’ve never written 11,000 words in such a short amount of time before so I guess that’s a plus. I have completed my Christmas shopping and I’ve now finished work for the Christmas holidays.

I’d love to say that I’ll get back into blogging over this festive period but I know it’s going to be a busy month; I honestly don’t know how I used to blog at least twice a week! That said, I would like to start again in January and, hopefully, start blogging every day or at least three times a week.

Recently, I’ve been back down the gym crying on the treadmill and doing a few hours overtime here and there to boost this month’s income.

I feel like I’ve forgotten how to blog so give me a few days to get back into the swing of it! I’ll probably start by posting some pictures of what I’ve been up to and I should have a Skinny Wagg video (which is LONG overdue) coming your way soon – assuming technology doesn’t fail me!

Back in October, I made a rota of things I wanted to blog about and so I know I have enough structure to blog for about a month as long as I put the effort into getting the contents of my brain onto this blog.

I hope you’ve all been well and that whatever you plan to do this festive season makes you smile. Here’s to a few more months of on and off blogging from me; the ever unreliable blogger that I am.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK – A REVIEW.

Wow.

I could describe the entire series in just that one word but that would be very boring for you and very lazy of me.

I didn’t have high expectations for OITNB for three reasons:

  1. I had to get a Netflix account to watch it.
  2. I don’t like being told what to watch.
  3. I’m not a huge fan of prison dramas.

But I can honestly say that I’m glad I put these three things aside and watched it because… wow.

Because some of you are yet to watch it (and I envy those of you who are seeing it for the first time through fresh, hungry eyes) I won’t go into too much detail about what actually happens as I don’t want to ruin it for you so, if you haven’t seen it yet, you can read this review safe in the knowledge that there won’t be spoilers.

It’s not often that a series can make me laugh, cry and stay up until 2 in the morning watching it but OITNB did just that. I cried for both good and bad reasons and sometimes it crept up on me and sometimes I knew I would end up a blubbering mess.

You only have to look up OITNB gifs on Google to see how quotable the entire series is and see that there is humour in almost every minute of it. If you were looking for a hard, factual, gruesome prison drama look elsewhere.

I have never watched a series so avidly before, and I’ve definitely not given up hours of my precious sleep for it but OITNB is addictive and so fast paced that you won’t feel like you’ve lost half a day watching it. (I recommended it to a friend of mine and she got through the entire series (13 episodes) in less than a week.)

What I love most about it is the realness. Yes, it was based on a real book by a real woman about her real sentence at a prison in America but often these “reality” based programmes are dramatised and exaggerated. You see the back story to almost every key character and this helps to build an understanding of them and why they’re there which is what drove me to tears on many occasions: most of the women are good women who have made mistakes.

This series not only challenges perceptions of prison but also class, race, gender and sexuality amongst other themes such as age, position of power and drugs. Whatever your opinion on these topics, I think you’ll find it hard not to be moved by the stories that portray them.

I could write about OITNB all day (if you like this review and want me to write another where I look at the storylines closer and reveal spoilers then let me know!) but I’m going to leave you with one simple instruction: watch it. I don’t care if you have to get a Netflix account or borrow a friends’ laptop or watch it after a 12 hour shift. And, if you’ve watched it before, watch it again (although I’m sure you need no prompting to do that!).